The Lonesome Extinction of Blockbuster Video

At the height of its success, there were over 9,000 Blockbusters around the world. Now there is only one.

Matt J Weber 🦢
The Startup


At one point in Earth’s history, Blockbusters inhabited every continent on the planet except Antarctica. At their peak, the Blockbuster population was over 9,000 and their bright blue and yellow plumage was a common sight in cities around the world.

The brand first arose in Texas — through the unlikely hybridization of a data company with a video store. It’s distinctive coloration appeared almost immediately and made it an eye-catching sight in its native habitat, but it was its knack for adaptability that set it apart from the competition.

Blockbuster wasn’t the first video store. By the time it appeared in the fossil record, the video rental industry was already a crowded ecosystem. But with a large inventory of videos and the ability to stock its shelves with titles that most appealed to the humans of the area (its main source of prey), Blockbuster could tailor itself to almost any retail environment. This amazing adaptability allowed Blockbusters to spread out from Texas and across the North American continent.

In these new environs, Blockbuster exhibited novel behaviors for a video rental store. Early on, it was